Son-in-law Deedee is my garbage man.
Every Saturday morning, he calls, and I say, “Is this my garbage man?” and he laughs and says he will be coming by in 15 minutes or 30 or whatever, and I get all of my stuff together and put it out on the driveway.
Not the recyclables, the plastics, glass, and cardboard. Those wait until I get enough to make a trip worthwhile.
My darling friend Kathleen taught me to put into the freezer all of mys like potato peels and the leaving ends of celery and apple cores, all of that wet stuff that ends up slimy at the bottom of the garbage can.
Even on the hottest of August days, my potentially stinky stuff stays frozen until Deedee gets it to the Dump over on Simmonsville Road.
Can you imagine what shrimp peels and the fat trimmings from Sunday’s pot roast smell like after a week in the kitchen trash can?
It isn’t a big hallelujah, but for years now I haven’t had to clean a nasty garbage can.
To be honest, I have a pang or two of remorse sending off veggie remains, and for a brief, very brief, while I did maintain a compost heap. It was not one of my finest accomplishments.
Carrying the “remains of the day” out into the yard and depositing them in the chicken wire enclosure with all of that bio brouhaha can get old in a hurry.
Most of my neighbors use one of those pickup services that lumber down the road in super-sized trucks and haul away all of your trash for a minimal amount that even on my pension I could afford.
It’s just that I would have to remember what day they come and then I would have to drag that gigantic container out to the road and haul it back after they came and emptied it.
And where am I going to put that big old can? In my carport? In front of my house?
We always say when you are at the end of a long trip and are about to pull into your driveway, “Don’t hit the garbage can.”
There is a reason for that.
Besides, there is always the chance the frozen leavings would defrost and slime and stink to high heaven before the truck came, and I would have to take the water hose to clean out the container and the smell would go all over the yard and up my nose.
I’m happy with my concierge service.
Thank you, Deedee.
Of course, once in a blue moon, he can’t come for one reason or another and I get to go to the Dump and take my own garbage.
Like I did this last Saturday.
And as I drove over the Myrtle Island Bridge, I couldn’t help but remember how way back when, after a weekend visit to our cottage, we used to stop, throw our garbage into the creek, bless the crab, and drive on home to Savannah.
We had never heard of biodegradable. There was no Styrofoam or Saran Wrap.
We used paper plates and drank from bottles, not cans. Aluminum was used to make highball glasses and airplanes.
In the early years, Bill Corbin, who lived with his brother Bob in the Morrison Compound, would go door to door, into everybody’s kitchen and get the garbage, put it into his boat, and head over Palmetto Bluff way and dump it all into the marsh. Somewhere out there in the pluff mud is a collection of old bottles I threw away when Mama complained they needed dusting and my teenage self decided they were too much trouble.
Bill was the only person I knew who sculled, and watching him stand in his bateau and move across the river into the sunset is a treasured memory.
So, here I was, on this Saturday afternoon, on my way to the Simmonsville Road Dump with my bag of garbage in the car trunk.
It only took a one-two-three, and all of it, frozen and unfrozen, was pitched into the cavernous depths of the legal authorized tax-supported garbage container to be taken off to parts unknown.
A trip to the Dump, another exciting adventure in the Lowcountry.
Been there. Done that.
Will wait for your call.
Annelore Harrell lives in Bluffton and can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.